Nature as a Public Interest


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Year of publication 2021
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Description Why does the law protect nature? What is its weight as a public interest and it position in balancing various public interests? These are the core questions the chapter attempts to address. As superfluous as they seem, the answers are far from simple. Indeed, healthy ecosystems clean water, purify the air, maintain soil, and regulate the climate. They also provide raw materials, food and other resources. However, in attempting to define nature protection as a public interest, one is always facing an odd paradox: nature is protected for its productive function, and at the same time, the ratio behind the law on nature protection is to keep it insofar as possible, intact and alone. Away from Man, that is. The cause of environmental degradation is deeply rooted in human culture. The more we use our nature, the less natural it is. Although nature is constantly changing, and was doing so even before the dawn of humanity, its rapid degradation in recent decades has pushed the legislators worldwide to impose considerable restrictions on human activities. As a consequence, the corresponding public interest entailed in the national constitutions and legal acts regarding nature, or the environment as a broader category, is oft en two-fold, embracing both the use and protection of nature.
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